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Dave Ward — Employees author new vision for your PUD

In creating a strategic plan, many businesses and agencies go outside of the company to find solutions for the future. They bring in consultants, professional planners, people with a history of creating strategic plans, but without a real understanding of the organization or the industry. But that is not the only option. When it comes to outlining a vision for the future, sometimes the best way to do it is to tap the wealth of knowledge that you have under your own roof.

U.S. can do more to spur job growth

On Thursday we learned that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, concluding the largest first-half-year for job growth since the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen by nearly 4 percentage points from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009, with the pace of decline doubling in the past year to the fastest drop in nearly three decades.

House members offer economic incentive for ocean research

Working on the water in our corner of Washington state is a way of life. Every year, shellfish farmers along the coastlines we represent collect and harvest the seafood that ends up on dinner plates and store shelves across America and around the world. There are also the commercial and recreational fishermen who have sustained jobs for generations. Fishermen and shellfish growers are woven into the fabric of our economy. It’s safe to say that Washington state is the nation’s seafood breadbasket.

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Supreme Court balances clean air against clean law

In a decision that was a legal defeat for the Obama administration but may well be a practical victory, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices voted 5-4 to block the Environmental Protection Agency from a creative-yet-practical interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would have let the EPA significantly increase its regulation of greenhouse gases.

Cantor’s defeat is warning to GOP

Be afraid, be very afraid. In February, a top GOP aide explained why immigration reform was never going to happen this year. “The Chamber [of Commerce] and downtown [lobbyists] want it, but they’re not going to primary anyone.” The fear of a backlash from grass-roots conservatives was hard to predict before Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in a stunning GOP primary defeat, and it has now become more so.

“Bring IT Up” — prevention strategies that work

I am a Student Assistance Professional (SAP) providing substance abuse prevention and intervention services at Hoquiam High School and I am also a member of a local coalition named My TOWN. Recently we have started a marketing campaign advocating for parents to “Bring IT Up.” Studies have shown that when parents talk to their kids about drugs (including alcohol) and encourage antidrug behavior underage use goes down.

Jay Ambrose — The political climate needs a change

Food stamps have never been more popular, economic growth is in the doldrums, average household income remains in a slump, the work force is still shrinking, a third of everyone between 18 and 34 is living with parents, often as a means of rent rescue, and President Barack Obama wants to make things worse.